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Right wing talk radio host Rush Limbaugh has ramped up his cynical smear campaign on Planned Parenthood--which he refers to as an "abortion factory."  

I say cynical because the campaign makes it painfully clear that--like much of what he discusses on his sad show--Limbaugh really has doesn't care or understand what Planned Parenthood is all about, and could jeopardize public support and funding for the contraceptive services they provide.

Rush Limbaugh's views on abortion are unmistakeable.  The thrice-divorced, childless misogynist believes that abortion is murder, and that those who exercise their Fourth Amendment Right to Privacy should be dealt with accordingly.  He has even gone as far as to suggest that abortions can be prevented by "[requiring] that each one occur with a gun."

Last week Limbaugh suggested that Planned Parenthood had failed to act despite detailed knowledge of the alleged crimes of Philadelphia doctor Kermit Gosnell, who has been charged with 8 counts of murder.  Right wing "news" outlet Breitbart.com echoed the hysterical, unfounded accusations in an article provocatively titled "Planned Parenthood Kept Silent About Gosnell Butchery" which selectively quotes Planned Parenthood representatives in order to create the false narrative:

Who outside of Kermit Gosnell’s abortion clinic knew about the massacre of the innocents but didn’t say a word to the authorities about it?

Planned Parenthood, that’s who. This week, Planned Parenthood Southeast Pennsylvania president and CEO Dayle Steinberg, speaking at a fundraiser, no less, admitted that she knew what was going on at Gosnell’s butcher shop. She and her organization did not report it to state health officials or anyone else who could have stepped in.

So what was the abortion organization’s response? Try this: Steinberg said they left it up to the traumatized women themselves to report the horror: "We would always encourage them to report it to the Department of Health," she said.  

Steinberg clarified the issue in a letter to the editor of the Philadelphia Inquirer, explaining that she was made aware simply of the lack of cleanliness of Gosnell's facility and had directed those concerned to contact the Department of Health.

She added

"If we had heard anything remotely like the conditions that have since come to light about Gosnell's facility, of course we would have alerted the state and other authorities."

Attacks by Limbaugh and his right wing goon buddies betray a complete lack of understanding of the services that Planned Parenthood provides.

Planned Parenthood works diligently to prevent unwanted pregnancies, including in many cases providing free contraceptives to those who qualify.  The organization estimates that their contraceptive services result in the prevention of 204,000 abortions each year.

In fact, only 3% of the services Planned Parenthood provides are abortion services.
A study cited by a news organization Limbaugh should look into called Fox News reveals that providing free birth control--as Planned Parenthood does--significantly reduces abortions, and that seventy-eight percent of Planned Parenthood's patients have incomes at or below 150% of the federal poverty level.

Texas cut funding for family planning in an effort to defund Planned Parenthood in 2011. It's already clear that the measure has led to a sharp rise in unintended pregnancies for low income women.  Some even speculate that the subsequent lack of free contraception has led to an increase in abortions.  

So in an ironic twist, Governor Rick Perry's legacy may turn out to be raising the abortion rate in Texas through his ill-conceived campaign against Planned Parenthood.

If Limbaugh is as serious about opposing abortion as he claims to be, he should be donating to Planned Parenthood, not trying to destroy its credibility through ill-informed attacks.

A massive bow to tkirkland for research and ideas on this diary.


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Decent folks who believe in tolerance and equality are no longer powerless against Limbaugh's efforts to spread intolerance on the radio.  StopRush is making a major impact by convincing advertisers on this show to withdraw their ads--and with your help we can do even more.  Just a few emails, tweets, or Facebook messages a week to Limbaugh's advertisers can go a long way toward making hatred less profitable.  It is our collective voice that makes us strong.  

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